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The race was on – safely – for more than 50,000 spectators Saturday at the 147th Kentucky Derby in part thanks to Pittsburgh-based AERAS. The company used its patented charged-electrostatic drone technology to sanitize Churchill Downs against COVID-19. This in part helped allow fans to return to the oldest sporting event in the United States.
“It’s awesome having a hand in bringing back massive in-person sporting events after a year of uncertainty,” said Eric Lloyd, CEO and co-founder of AERAS. “Seeing thousands of cheering fans enjoying the Kentucky Derby safely felt like a huge victory over COVID-19.”
The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes that electrostatic spray systems can create effective coverage when applying sanitization solutions. Powered by its AER-Force technology, AERAS drones release a uniform output of small droplets to create a disinfecting barrier along all grounded surfaces.
AERAS recently earned the Federal Aviation Administration’s (EPA) 137 certification to sanitize sports and entertainment sites with its drone technology.
“Like the rest of America, we’re hungry for live concerts and sports,” said Jim Abel, global director of business development. “It feels great to see our technology make this type of impact on live events and to be helping to return America back to normalcy.”
The Kentucky Derby was one of the largest sporting events to be held since COVID-19 shut the world down in March 2020. With 51,838 fans cheering on the run for the roses in person this year, safety was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
In less than 90 minutes, Churchill Downs seating areas were sanitized by a AERAS’ 107-certified drone operator and AERAS backpack sprayers.
“If sports franchises want to increase the number of people in seats, AERAS is the path,” said Jim Christiana, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for AERAS. “We’re excited for the opportunity to work with any sports and entertainment facility that wants to provide that peace of mind to fans returning to live entertainment.”
Established in Pittsburgh in 2020, AERAS specializes in using a patented charged-electrostatic spraying technology to safely sanitize arenas, stadiums, fields and buildings by dispersing any approved disinfectant as science and best practices dictate to sanitize against COVID-19 and other viral pathogens.